Travel in Portugal, Day 4, Crato

The day was unsettled, with dramatic skies over Crato, an extraordinary small town in the Alentejo. The first stop was to see a colony of storks in an abandoned building on the edge of the town.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-30 Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-35

In the 13C vast areas of the Alentejo were granted to the Knights Hospitaller (originally the Order of St John of Jerusalem, later The Order of Malta) by King Sancho and in c.1340 Crato became the headquarters of the Order in Portugal, led by a Prior of Crato. The Order also built the nearby Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa in the 15C. In 1662 the town was sacked and burned by the Spanish and it never regained its importance.

The Prior's Balcony, the remains of the Prior's Palace, Crato

The Prior’s Balcony, the remains of the Prior’s Palace, Crato

The Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa

The Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa

The main square in the old town includes the Balcony of the Prior’s Palace (above), the Palace of the Arches (now the Municipal Museum), and the cross below with the Cross of Malta.

The Municipal Museum, Crato

The Palacio Sa Nogueira, The Municipality Offices, Crato

The Municipality offices, Crato, Pacos do Concelho

The Municipal Museum, Crato, Pacos do Concelho

The square of the Prior's Palace Balcony

The square of the Prior’s Palace Balcony

The Pelourinho or Pillory in the square of the Prior's Palace Balcony

The Pelourinho or Pillory in the square of the Prior’s Palace Balcony

 

The Castle must be Mediaeval too, but is closed and apart from this section and some walls it seems as though not much remains. The importance of the site, above the plains, is obvious from the views.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-59

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-62

The Parish Church dates from the 13C but has apparently been considerably altered. On every visit it has been closed!

Narrow streets, hidden manor houses, beautiful doorways and windows abound, as do crests on the walls.

Crato

The Palacio Teixeira Guerra in the town, hidden behind gates

The Palacio Teixeira Guerra in the town, hidden behind gates

The stables of a large mansion in Crato

The stables of a large mansion in Crato

And while in the town visit the Father Belo House Museum, an extraordinary collection of religious artifacts.

You may be interested in
www.visitalentejo.com
Fascinating website with lots of information
Crato – the town site